Three men found guilty of raping a woman they met at Mooseheads are trying to "recast the case" in appeals that have "no legs", the ACT's top prosecutor claims.
But a barrister for Simon Vunilagi, who was dubbed "the ringleader", has adamantly disagreed as the Fijian trio fight to overturn their convictions.
Vunilagi was last year jailed for more than six years and three months over the nearly five-hour ordeal the 22-year-old victim endured at the Downer home of Josefa Masivesi.
Masivesi was sentenced to two years and one month behind bars for his role in the November 2019 incident, while Isimeli Vatanitawake was imprisoned for two years and six months.
All three have maintained their innocence, with Masivesi denying that he had sex with the woman at all and the other two claiming their involvement with her was consensual.
A fourth man also sexually assaulted the victim, Chief Justice Helen Murrell found after a lengthy trial, but she could not be satisfied of his identity.
On Tuesday, the second day of the convicted trio's appeal hearing, Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold SC said lawyers for the men appeared to have moved away from what they argued at trial.
He said they initially seemed to have based their cases on a theory that the victim made false allegations as a way of dealing with regret and shame she felt after cheating on her fiance.
But Mr Drumgold said the appellants now seemed to be advancing an argument about the woman honestly recounting "false memories" of some events, which cast doubt on the accuracy of her claims as a whole.
"The appellants are inviting you to recast this case," Mr Drumgold told the ACT Court of Appeal.
"[What they say] simply has no legs."
Mr Drumgold accepted there were some inconsistencies in the woman's evidence, but said there were no significant errors that should lead her version of events to be rejected.
But barrister Steven Whybrow, representing Masivesi, argued in reply that inaccuracies in the woman's story were "a major issue".
He said the woman had conceded her memory of the early morning events was "hazy about some things, right about some things and wrong about some things".
Mr Whybrow said she had "no way of knowing which was which", and pointed out that CCTV from the Mooseheads nightclub proved aspects of what she had said about the lead-up to whatever occurred in the Downer unit had been wrong.
This included her initial assertions that the men had forced her to consume about five drinks at the Civic nightspot, when footage showed she had in fact only drunk once from a glass while in their presence.
Barrister Katrina Musgrove, for Vunilagi, said it was "not the case at all" that lawyers for the convicted trio were trying to "recast the case".
She took issue with what she called "emotive commentary" provided by Mr Drumgold as CCTV from Mooseheads was played to the court, saying this should be "put to one side" because parts of it did not accord with what was on the video.
Beth Morrisroe, the barrister for Vatanitawake, also urged the appeal judges to "totally disregard" some of what Mr Drumgold had relied on in his arguments.
Much of Tuesday afternoon was dedicated to submissions on a ground of appeal pursued only by Vunilagi, who is also challenging the constitutional validity of his trial.
The trial was conducted by judge alone without Vunilagi's consent under emergency coronavirus laws at a time when juries were not being empanelled in the ACT.
Justice David Mossop, Justice Chrissa Loukas-Karlsson and Justice Wendy Abraham will rule on the appeals at a later date.
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